'Christmas Story' favors familiarity

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Juli Davis owns a copy of the movie A Christmas Story and watches it every year. When the time came to direct the stage version, she wanted to make sure some things stayed the same.

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Luke Hamrick, as Ralphie, wears the pink bunny pajamas. Also in the Aiken Community Playhouse production of A Christmas Story are Melissa Wilson as Mother, Parker Gibbons as Randy and Mike Gibbons as The Old Man.   Jacob Ellis/Special
Jacob Ellis/Special
Luke Hamrick, as Ralphie, wears the pink bunny pajamas. Also in the Aiken Community Playhouse production of A Christmas Story are Melissa Wilson as Mother, Parker Gibbons as Randy and Mike Gibbons as The Old Man.

"It's such an iconic movie. It was very important to me to keep things people expect to see. Some of the items we used are exact replicas," she said.

The leg lamp and Santa's slide make appearances in the Aiken Community Playhouse production. The show opens Friday.

The story of young Ralphie's quest to have a Red Rider BB gun under the Christmas tree is a change for Luke Hamrick, who plays young Ralphie.

"I was just in Frankenstein," he said. "It's hard to say which play is more fun. They've both been a lot of fun."

Another film replica is on stage when Luke has to wear the "pink nightmare" bunny pajamas. His favorite scene, though, is where Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with soap.

The film is narrated by an unseen adult Ralphie. In the play, grown-up Ralphie is on stage telling the story.

"Some of it is word for word from the movie," said Paul Wilson, the narrator. "A lot of it is very much the same, from the color of the couch to the way the tree is decorated."

Wilson said he is used to playing over-the-top comedic characters, but Christmas Story was a nice change of pace.

"I have really enjoyed the sincerity. There's nothing wild or goofy about it. I get to deliver some genuine emotion," he said.

'A Christmas Story'

WHERE: Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. S.W.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11; 3 p.m. Dec. 5

TICKETS: $6 children, $12 students, $15 seniors and $17 adults

CONTACT: (803) 648-1438 or aikencommunityplayhouse.com


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